The Dallas County Board of Supervisors left their public meeting open into Tuesday evening and started its presentation of the budget for fiscal year 2018 at 7 p.m. in the Board Meeting Room at 902 Court Street in Adel. They also approved the Compensation Board’s recommendations for salaries for elected officials in Dallas County.
Elected officials will be getting 4 percent raises across the board beginning on July 1 and will make the following salaries:
Auditor, Julia Helm - $83,963.65 per year
Treasurer, Mitch Hambleton - $83,963.65 per year
Recorder, Chad Airhart - $83,963.65 per year
Sheriff, Chad Leonard - $118,846.45 per year
Attorney, Wayne Reisetter - $131.668.47 per year
Supervisors, Kim Chapman, Mark Hanson and Brady Golightly (part-time employees) - $55,404.80 per year
The proposed urban tax levy rate for fiscal year 2018 will be 3.907, including 3.173 for General Basic, 0.299 for County Services and 0.435 for Debt Services with nothing for General Supplemental. In comparable counties, Pottawattamie, Dubuque, Warren and Story, Dallas County has the lowest urban levy rate.
The proposed rural tax levy rate is 3.941 for Rural Basic with nothing for Rural Supplemental and a Total Rural Plus Countywide levy rate of 7.849. Next to the comparable counties, Dallas County has the highest rate under Rural Basic, but the lowest total when including rural and countywide.
From 2008 to 2015, the levy fell from 9.71 to 7.77 before rising to 7.94 by 2017 and has, again, fallen, to the current total rate of 7.85.
Dallas County has a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) valuation of a little more than $600,000, which is the highest of the comparable counties. The next-highest is Dubuque County, which has slightly over $500,000.
In 2020, a 20-year TIF agreement with the Jordan Creek Town Center will expire and their valuation will be included in the Countywide levy.
The revenues in Dallas County are estimated to be $38,519,074 in 2018, up from the estimated $35,595,730 from 2017. The expenditures are estimated at $43,236,195 for 2018, up slightly from $42,468,232 estimated in 2017.
“Nothing out of the ordinary for Dallas County,” said Kim Chapman, chair of the Board of Supervisors.
The Supervisors’ presentation showed a breakdown of who gets the county taxes.
“Schools and cities receive more tax dollars in Dallas County than the state average,” Chapman said. “Alternatively, the County itself receives a significantly lower portion of the tax dollars compared to the state average.”
47.7 percent of the tax dollars in Dallas County go to schools, compared to a state average of 41.5 percent, which 33.8 percent go to cities, compared to a 28.9 percent state average. The County receives 12.8 percent, compared to a 22.20 percent state average.
Community colleges receive 1.9 percent, hospitals receive 1.4 percent, 0.8 percent go to assessors, 0.3 percent go to townships, 0.2 percent to to Ag. Extension and 1 percent goes to Miscellaneous.
In Dallas County, an estimated $12,638,052 will be spent on Public Safety and Legal Services in 2018, up from an estimated $11,596,495 in 2017. An estimated $3,789,881 will be spent on Physical Health and Social Services in 2018, up slightly from an estimated $3,724,194 in 2017.
On Mental Health, Intellectual Disability and Development Disabilities, the County will spend an estimated $2,760,599, a decrease from an estimated $2,924,303 in 2017.
“Due to healthcare law changes, the state has taken over services provided through Medicaid,” Chapman said. “Dallas County is the fiscal agent for the Heart of Iowa Region, which consists of Dallas County, Guthrie County, Greene County and Audobon County. The region’s expenses are not shown in the County’s budget. What is shown is the County’s contribution to the regional budget, which represents approximately 76 percent of its total, as well as the County’s administrative expenses.”
County Environment and Education will see an estimated amount of $4,733,259 in 2018, rising from $3,574,255, which is currently estimated for 2017. The county will spend an estimated $8,548,733 on Roads and Transportation, up slightly from an estimated $8,164,805 in 2017.
When explaining why the Rural Basic levy is the highest in comparable counties, the presentation pointed to local option sales tax (LOST). LOST brought in $3.5 million in Pottawattamie County and $2.1 million in Story County, while Dallas County, Warren County and Dubuque County brought in nothing.
“Local Option Sales Tax for both Pottawattamie and Story Counties has made a difference in the funding of road operations and its levy,” Chapman said.
On Government Services to Residents, the County will spend an estimated $2,343,088 in 2018, down from an estimated $2,472,489 estimated in 2017.
For Administration, the County will spend an estimated $1,690,328 in 2018, down from 1,872,765 in 2017.
“This includes the Board of Supervisors, tax part of the Treasurer’s Budget, Auditor and risk management,” Chapman said. “The reason Dallas County costs are so low is that we utilize internal services to spread the cost of administration to each department.”